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Lecture Series

Exhibiting Asia in the 21st Century

Exhibiting Asia in the 21st Century is an occasional lecture series inaugurated in 2012 to honor the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Today, globally engaged exhibiting of Asian art involves challenges never imagined when our museums and disciplines were established. Why does the aura of objects remain important in an era of virtual learning? What is the impact of 24/7 exhibition cycles on curators? Why is it urgent to reexamine the historical roots of current collections and intellectual frameworks? How do museums present objects as simultaneously "icons" and "artworks"? Who interprets Asian art? Answers to these and other pressing questions will be explored in talks delivered by leading experts in the field.

The series is organized by the Curatorial and Scholarly Programs Departments of the Freer|Sackler.

All events take place in the Meyer Auditorium.

Past Events


Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method
Joan Kee, Department of History of Art, University of Michigan


The Digital Museum and the Evolving Promise of Digitization
Sebastian Chan, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Northern Qi dynasty, 550-578
Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1913.57
Photo by Neil Greentree

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.